So we have a powerful and feared government agency, the IRS, which has admitted to targeting Obama’s political opponents, now being accused of illegally seizing confidential medical records. I’m sure there’s no way the information in those records (which included “included psychological counseling, gynecological counseling, sexual/drug treatment”) could possibly be used against Obama’s political opponents. (You know, like sealed divorce records.)
Funny how often supposedly confidential information just magically appears in the hands of Obama Administration bureaucrats. Like those AP phone records. It just happens, like the waxing of a pestilence.
So what’s next in the hopper of scandal? Or we going to find out the NSA has been monitoring all telephone conversations in America and providing the records directly to the DNC?
“It’s time for public employee unions to wake up and take a look around. Government services are shrinking, cities are crumbling, and they’re enjoying pay and benefit packages that many in the private sector would kill for. They need to give a little back…Because up and down the state of California, and beyond, public officials foolishly negotiated contracts they can’t pay for without taking a cleaver to basic services, including police and fire protection, park maintenance, street repair.”
California’s total government debt, at all levels, is estimated between $848 billion and $1.126 trillion. Funny how the word “trillion” crops up in reference to debt when Democrats are in charge of things…
In a rare spot of good news for California, their revenue are running just far enough ahead of schedule that they no longer need to make do with internal borrowing between state agencies. But I would suggest that this windfall will prove to be temporary…
Thomas Friedman hates the Keystone pipeline because the oil is dirty, but love China, where industry is a thousand time dirtier than here in the U.S. And where will that oil go if the pipeline isn’t built? China. Maybe Friedman just wants all the jobs to be in China. That, or actual checks from the Chinese government or their business subsidiaries, would explain an awful lot of Friedman’s writing over the last few years…
The degrees of broke-ness varies: from completely and utterly broke, like Greece or Italy; to wobbly, like the U.K., France, the U.S., or Japan; to getting poorer like Germany. But all of them are going to have to raise the percentage of gross domestic product they collect in tax — and many of them very significantly.
The U.S. deficit is more than 7% of GDP. The U.K.’s deficit is just as high. There is very little sign that spending cuts to close gaps of that magnitude are on the cards, nor is there any sign that growth will be sufficiently strong to make up the difference — certainly not in countries like the U.K. or Japan.
Huge sums of additional revenue will have to be raised.
Willie Sutton once famously remarked that he robbed banks because “that’s where the money is.”
In the same way, governments will look to raise more tax from companies because that’s where the money is.
Or they could, you know, actually cut spending…
I’ve not been following the Prenda Law case closely. Fortunately, Ken over at Popehat has. Exceptionally brief background: Scumbag copyright troll lawyers operate shakedown operation, filing dubious (at best) copyright infringement lawsuits. Then they compounded the problem by suing bloggers and lawyers in an attempt to silence them. As you might expect, that strategy isn’t working out very well for them… (Hat tip: Dwight)
Grad student sues over university giving her a C+ in a class. Oh, and she also attend the university for free. Why not just hang a sign around your neck saying “No employer should ever hire me, I’m a lawsuit waiting to happen”?
It’s always fun to watch liberals stub their toes against reality. This time around it’s JournoLista Matthew Yglesias who is shocked, shocked to discover that trying to start a small business (in his case renting out a spare house) is wrapped up in bureaucratic red tape. When this was pointed out to him on Twitter, he protested that he had often complained about local government red tape. Fine and dandy, but why is he such an enthusiast for big government at the federal level?
His dichotomy of thought seems to suggest there are several blind-spots in his understanding of economics (a rather significant drawback for a journalist who regularly write about economics). Watching him fail to draw the obvious conclusions on the baleful effect of big government on small business is almost priceless in its cluelessness. Let’s discuss a few of the many, many ideas that never seemed to have occurred to him, shall we?
In ways big and small, every single day is like what Yglesias described for small business dealing with big government.
Trudging between bureaucrats, Yglesias should have thought to himself: “ObamaCare will be 1000 times worse for small business than this.” Because it will be. But of course he can’t do that, given what a cheerleader he is for ObamaCare and how he belittled business owner concerns. But it’s always different when it happens to you.
The idea that red tape scales (at a minimum) with the size of government does not seem to have occurred to him.
And excessive red tape begets excessive local red tape complying with federal mandates.
He complains that the process he had to go through could have been made more efficient. What does he think all those Democratic patronage machine jobs are for?
If he’s been writing about economics for years, but is just now discovering the problems of how big government slows down business, you wonder: Does he never get out of DC? He could have picked up the phone and talked to real business owners who work outside the Liberal Reality Bubble and discovered all this many many years ago.
Bureaucratic inefficiencies are much like cockroaches: for every instance you see, there are thousands you don’t. And just like cockroaches, they swarm and multiply off in the dark while you’re not looking.
I’m going to bet that Yglesias has never read James Q. Wilson’s Bureaucracy.
And yet there’s a certain perverse pleasure in watching Yglesias wrestle with the problems of big government and not draw the obvious conclusion. It’s like watching a man hold the 6th piece of a 6-piece jigsaw puzzle, look back and forth between the piece and hole and declare “I just don’t understand!” It’s like watching a blind man suddenly given sight and see the elephant he had been feeling for the first time in his life, then resolutely put on opaque glasses and mutter “No, that can’t be it.” Or like Butt-Head trying to figure out what happened to his TV:
He can’t figure it out because he won’t let himself figure it out. Too much of his own self-love is tied up in the notion that he’s good because he’s a liberal, and liberals are good because big government is good in and of itself. For every maddening piece of red tape, somewhere out there was a Matthew Yglesias who thought that having government run and regulate something was just a swell idea.
You do it to yourself, you do. And that’s what really hurts…
Speaking of TPPF, they linked to this Dallas Fed report, which shows that the Texas economy continues to hum along. “Texas added 22,900 jobs in October, lowering its unemployment rate in October to 6.6 percent, down from 6.8 percent in September and 1.3 percent below the national average of 7.9 percent.”
First up, Unions kill Hostess. By calling a strike against a company that was already in bankruptcy, against the advice of the Teamsters, who had already taken a look at the Hostess books, the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International Union ensured that instead of a 6% pay cut, unionized workers would take a 100% pay cut. Way to go, unions!
Israel still seems to be gearing up for a ground offensive in Gaza. And by firing rockets at Tel Aviv, Hamas pretty much guarantees that the only faction in Israeli politics urging restraint will retink their position. “I get a lot less liberal when you want to kill me.”
Lefties are trying to boycott Papa Johns for daring to lay people off because of ObamaCare. “If this is anything like the Chick-fil-A buycott, and you want Papa John’s for dinner, you’d better get your order in now.” It’s amazing that any business in America ever has to declare bankruptcy, given there are so many liberals around who can tell them exactly how much profit they “need”…
Larry Kudlow: “Mitt Romney politely cleaned Barack Obama’s clock tonight. A lethargic and at times tired looking President Obama was out-hustled, out-facted, out-energized, and out-informed by Former Governor Mitt Romney.”
The election, more than ever, is about the size of government. Obama wants an ever-larger, ever more powerful federal government, while Romney-Ryan want to reign it in. Despite Romney having a reputation as a bit of a squish, the pick shows he’s serious about reigning in runaway government. And it doesn’t detract from the debate over Obama’s horrible handling of the economy: Runaway government spending (and the uncertainty it engenders) is the largest single factor holding back the economy.
As an observant Catholic, Ryan sharpens the debate on the Obama Administration’s War on Catholics. The fervor with which Democrats pursued codifying taxpayer-funded abortion (no matter how many House seats it cost them) and the unwavering refusal to allow Catholic and other pro-life entities to opt out from providing insurance coverage of abortion suggests that it was one of the central driving goals of passing ObamaCare. Increasingly it appears that yes, that is the hill liberals want to die on. We should let them, and make sure that devout Catholics know the contempt the liberal establishment holds for both them and their beliefs.
Ryan Puts Wisconsin Further in Play. Scott Walker’s budget successes, and the abysmal serial failure of the Wisconsin recall elections prove that this once solidly Democratic state has been trending increasingly purple. By naming favorite son Ryan as his VP pick, Romney has singled he’s going to put up a real fight there. Romney can win elsewhere (Nevada and Iowa, for example) and still win 270 electoral votes; I don’t see any realistic path to victory for Obama if he loses there.
Hopefully all this won’t matter, as Republicans will take the White House and Senate in November and repeal ObamaCare as job one in 2013. But in the unfortunate scenario where ObamaCare isn’t repealed, here’s an example of Blue States increasing the size and scope of government while converting more of their residents from independent citizens to wards of the state while Red States continue to either scale back intrusive government or at least refrain from expanding it. And with the Medicaid portion of the ObamaCare ruling, it’s going to be easier than ever for Red State government to Just Say No to new federal welfare initiatives with new funding strings attached.
So Red States will continue to stay lean, while Blue States move ever more quickly toward bankruptcy.